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Residents evacuated from Flour Bluff apartment fire that officials say was intentionally set

A witness at the scene said she was woken up by her kids who smelled the smoke, and they were lucky to make it out safely with only what they had on.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Fire Department Officials said a man intentionally set a fire inside an apartment building, dead bolted the front door and made barricades around the apartment to make it difficult for fire crews to put out the blaze. 

CCFD officials said they received a call around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon about a possible fire at the Brittany Apartments off Paul Jones Ave.  

When they arrived on scene, officials said they believed the individual set fires in multiple parts of the apartment and then kicked out a back window to get out.

"Crews had to force entry,” Corpus Christi Fire Department Battalion Chief Robin McGill said. “They did a great job of doing that. The fires were still in the growing phase so they were able to get past the barricades he made inside and extinguish these fires pretty quick."

McGill said the department used three fire trucks while working on the fire.

"What we wanted to do was make sure - when you have a first floor apartment fire you clear the upper stories – so, I had crews doing that so it didn’t spread to other units,” he said.

A witness at the scene said she was woken up by her kids who smelled the smoke, and they were lucky to make it out safely with only what they had on and their pet bird.

"The good thing is my daughter and her grandkids are okay; I mean it’s scary, it is,” the witness said. “I mean we don’t know if her belongings will be okay. The bird cage even smelt like smoke, but I’m glad they’re okay."

McGill said everyone made it out uninjured, including the man who set the fire. 

Neighbors said the apartment belonged to the man’s mother and when fire crews showed up, he told them to let it burn.